Bacon, Hot Dogs and Lunch Meat – Is it Processed Meat?

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Today, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) named processed meat as a carcinogen. AICR has included avoiding processed meat as one of our recommendations for cancer prevention since 2007. Processed meat (and high amounts of red meat) increase risk for colorectal cancer.

Here’s our statement on the WHO report.

Both organizations found that for processed meat, even small amounts eaten daily – 50 grams or 1 small hot dog – increases risk for colorectal cancer by 18% compared to eating none.Red Processed Meat Rec

So what exactly is “processed meat”?

AICR defines processed meat as:

“meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.” Ham, bacon, pastrami, sausages, hot dogs and cold cuts are all considered processed meat. Read more… “Bacon, Hot Dogs and Lunch Meat – Is it Processed Meat?”


    Study: Before Colorectal Cancer, Eating Healthy and Following AICR Recs Prolongs Survival

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    For colorectal cancer, research shows that eating healthy, being active, and staying a healthy weight make a big difference in reducing the risk of developing this cancer. AICR estimates that while there are no guarantees, one of every two colorectal cancer cases can be prevented by following our recommendations.

    Now a new study suggests that following AICR recommendations for prevention years before diagnosis can prolong survival for those who do develop colorectal cancer. And every recommendation followed decreased the risk of dying a little more.

    The study was published in BMC Medicine.

    10-recommendations-infographic Read more… “Study: Before Colorectal Cancer, Eating Healthy and Following AICR Recs Prolongs Survival”


      Diet Swap Alters Gut Bacteria, Signs of Colon Cancer Risk

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      What you eat can play a big role in preventing colorectal cancer, with research showing that fiber-filled foods lower risk; red and processed meats increase it. Now a study hones in on how diet can affect risk, showing that swapping a high-fiber healthy diet for a low-fiber western-style diet alters gut bacteria and signs of inflammation that may play a role in colon cancer.Choice between healthy apple and unhealthy hamburger

      The study is published in Nature Communications and it adds to a growing body of research on how our bacteria – our microbiota – play a role in cancer risk.

      For the study, researchers flipped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans for two weeks. All the participants had colonoscopy exams before and after the diet swap.
      The Americans were served African-style foods, almost quadrupling their fiber intake to an amount equal to over 3.5 cups of beans. At the same time, they cut their calories from fat in half. Africans went the opposite direction, dramatically cutting their fiber and upping their fat intake.

      After two weeks on the African diet, the Americans had less markers of inflammation in the colon while those same markers increased among the Africans eating the less healthy diet. There were also opposing increases and decreases of the compound  butyrate, which forms from digesting fiber and is linked to lowering colon cancer risk. The American group was producing more butyrate; the Africans on the American diet less. Read more… “Diet Swap Alters Gut Bacteria, Signs of Colon Cancer Risk”